Macbook Pro 13" or 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by laurencrosbie, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. laurencrosbie macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2014
    Hi, I wish to be upgrading my Macbook Air (Mid 2011) in the next few months to either Macbook Pro 13-inch: 2.6GHz with Retina display or Macbook Pro 15-inch: 2.0GHz with Retina display.

    Im not too sure which one, because i like the look of the 15" with the speakers on either side but not too sure about the weight difference between the 13" and the 15".

    I am starting University this year and will be driving there so its not going to be too far a walk from my car to lectures, so im leaning towards 15" but im still not sure.

    Which one is the better choice?
  2. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    which one is the best is up to your preferences and how you will use it. if you tell us what exactly you want to do with it and hoe much you want to spend we can give you our opinions. In the end it all comes down to sour personal preference
  3. laurencrosbie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2014
    i will just be using it for music, photos, words processing, power points, movies, and just general internet surfing.
    my budget is around $1600-$2500.
  4. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    I have no idea how universities in the us are build, but here in auszria my 15 inch was nearly too big for most of our tables.
    since you want to upgrade from a 2011 air (which shoukd be able to handle all the stuff you mentioned too) I guess you either want the retina display or a bigger form factor.

    if you only want the retina display personally I'd go for the 13". it handles all the stuff you mentioned and you save some money too. if you want a notebook that is a good desktop replacement too, the 15" of course is the one to get. (or buy a 13" and a big display!)

    as mentioned I have a 15" which I used at the universitity from time to time but I switched to an ipad for that which works way better. (the mac stays at home as desktop)
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    If you don't care about the screen size, then go with the 13'' rMBP. It sounds like a pretty basic response but the hardware of the 13'' can handle what you listed that you want to do, costs less, it is lighter, and easier to store in a bag or pack (since you mention university). The only thing is that you lose some screen real estate, so if that isn't and issue then just go for the lesser.
  6. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Base 13" rMBP.

    You would do fine with a 13" MBA, if you don't find the retina display necessary.
  7. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I would love 15 but main reason why I went 13 was cause i had a previous 13 and loved it for overall size and carrying around. I also was not willing to pay the ridiculous price for the 15 so I took the 13 and use the money saved on two monitors for my desk. Besides 15" is kind of a wierd size, its too big to be considered an ultra portable, and two small to be a desktop.

    But after you use a retina ipad everyday for hours, you will want the retina on macbook. My 13" mbp from 2011 looks like garbage in comparison to my ipad air. I cant even stand using my macbook cause the screen is so terrible.

    I saw the 15" in the store and its barely any bigger than my 2011 mbp, is thinner and lighter. WTF is up with that, I feel ripped off.
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    i had to make the same choice before getting my 13" macbook pro. the 15 is quite large and the 13 is insane.y light and zippy, i got the mid range 13" and upgraded the ram to 16gb and it flies. also fits on the tiny desks in class.
  9. the Western zoo, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

    the Western zoo macrumors 6502

    the Western zoo

    May 16, 2006
    Aarhus C, Denmark
    I was considering going 15" this time round (have had 13" models ever since my first laptop), but after using my brother's 15" rMBP for two days, I found it to be too big and clumsy.

    I have to bring my laptop with me a lot, and I sometimes have to use it on my lap. With my 13" it is no problem but with the 15" it seems to be a bit of a balancing act...
    I don't know how auditoriums are at your university but the "desk space" at auditoriums here at my university is often very small - not comfortably roomy enough for a 15" in my opinion.

    I use my 13" rMBP for all the things, you mentioned, as well as video editing, Illustrator, and statistics. So far, I have only head the fans kick in when I did lots of file transfers while trying out Starcraft 2... I have not seen stuttering at all yet.

    So all in all, unless you can't do without the display real-estate I would say go for 13"! :)
  10. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Get the 13" rMBP. It has plenty of power for what you need, has a fantastic screen and is much more portable than the 15". The 13" rMBP has a smaller footprint than even the 13" MBA. It's neat.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I prefer the 15" MBP but your stated usage indicates the 13" MBP might be a nice fit.

    My recommendation is to try both out and see if you like the 13" screen size or the 15".
  12. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    You may want to think about why you are choosing retina... If it is to take advantage of higher resolutions because you like having lots of windows open at the same time etc, then 15" will be far better. If it's just for a nicer quality display then it comes down to portability I suppose. I have the 15" and absolutely love it - the large screen combined with the high resolutions mean I can see so much when editing photos etc. but I hardly ever take my laptop out of the house so less portability isn't a problem for me.

    Definitely go into a store and have a play. Put them both to their highest resolutions and see how much screen space you get to play with. Fold then up and carry them and see how it feels. If you aren't doing anything that specifically benefits from large screens like gaming or video/image editing then I'm sure 13" will be fine.

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